Back in Austria, in 1945, a group on Nazis are cleaning all of the valuables out of a building. One item in particular, a shiny metal object of some sort, is of specific interest to the Nazi general. Apparently those who touched it have turned to ashy stone and died.
Before it can be packed away, a group called the Strategic Scientific Reserve attacks the Nazis and takes the relic, vowing to keep it hidden forever. They claim that this is the last HYDRA site, and their work is done. Old school S.H.I.E.L.D. agents I guess. They box up the relic (SSR 084).
Back to current times, a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is trying to sell SSR Relic 084 to the “highest bidder”. All he has is a photo of it, but swears to know the location of it. It is level 10 classified so he know it’s something good.
Before the deal can go down, a man swoops in and steals the information. He kills the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent , and is struck with several bullets, but to no effect. It is revealed that the potential buyers of the 084 are in fact new members of Coulson’s team. May, Skye, and Trip help save the new members. In a meeting with Coulson, May reveals to us that the new team members are just mercenaries motivated by money. But Coulson is fine with that so long as May can trust them.
Fitz suffered pretty bad head injuries and hasn’t been the same since. He’s trying to figure out a cloaking device for the plane, but has come up with nothing. Simmons is encouraging Fitz, but he is frustrated and unable to find most words that he wants to say.
Fitz is able to determine that metal bits that came from their mystery man are now turning into flesh and blood. A DNA test identifies the mystery man as Carl Creel, a gifted individual that Garrett supposedly had killed, but in reality turned to HYDRA’s side.
Coulson sends Skye down to talk to Grant, who is locked up in vault D. All Ward wants to do is try and apologize to Skye, but Skye doesn’t want to hear any of it. Ward gives her some information about Creel, mainly that he has the ability to turn his body into any material that he touches. He also tells Skye that HYDRA would communicate within the white noise of S.H.I.E.L.D. transmissions.
Koenig tests the white noise theory and finds that there are more HYDRA cells than ever, just more spread out. Apparently General Talbot’s media statements about HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. being taken out of commission were just a bit false.
Coulson tries to warn General Talbot that he is in danger, but Talbot brushes him off. Creel tries to attack Talbot, but May and Skye manage to subdue Creel. Talbot is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., but he refuses to help or work alongside Coulson.
Coulson shoots Talbot, and when Talbot awakes, he is in his car without his uniform. Talbot calls to his men to double the security detail around Creel. Two guards notice that Creel is gone, but in reality he has turned into the same plastic that the cage is made out of. He (presumably) attacks the guards and escapes.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has put together an elaborate scheme to get into Talbot military base, where Creel and relic 084 are being held. Once inside, they work on finding 084, as well as something else that only Coulson May, Skye, and Trip know about.
Hartley finds 084, but is attacked by Creel. She picks up the relic to see what it can do to Creel, but it instead starts to turn her hand and arm black. The others scare Creel away, and Coulson orders them to continue the mission. Hunter takes Hartley with him, and tells Idaho to take off. They speed away from the base, but their car is crashed by Creel, killing Hartley and Idaho. Creel is now in possession of 084.
Skye, May, and Tripp are fighting off the military guards, and it is revealed in a monologue from Coulson to Koenig that they are stealing a Quinn Jet from the government. This will allow to work in the shadows.
Coulson also tells Koenig that Fitz’ brain is badly damaged and he will likely never recover. It is also revealed that Simmons left the team, thinking it would be bad for Fitz if she stuck around. Instead it broke Fitz further. All the times that we saw Fitz talking to Simmons, she actually wasn’t there. Coulson knew that Fitz would never finish the cloaking device, so taking the jet was the only way.
At the end of the episode a man is told that the 084 is on its way. The man says he’s been waiting a long time for this, and he turns around, revealing the Nazi general from 1945 (or perhaps a relative of his).